Over 240 kids from thirteen different states came to represent at the second annual Bud Asher Kickback to Central Florida clinic over the weekend in Daytona Beach. The Bud Asher event, once again free to all participants was held at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida with some of the biggest names in the kicking and punting industry in both college and the NFL. One On One Kicking coach, Dan Lundy was very close with the late Bud Asher, who was more than just a football coach – he was an inspiration.
“The nickname I’ve tagged him (Bud Asher) with is ‘The Forest Gump’ of football,” said Mainland high school special teams coordinator and One On One director of kicking, Dan Lundy, “He was a 40-year football coach and he aspired to do bigger things. He was a head football coach at Bethune-Cookman right here in Daytona and he was a head football coach at nine area high schools – both public and private – from 1955-2001. From there he went on and owned the Jacksonville Sharks of the old AFL and was a scout for the Raiders in the last thirteen years of his life because he was so involved and networked so well.”
However, Asher was more than just a football coach. In the Mainland and Florida communities, Asher was a true inspiration. Aside from football, Asher served as the mayor of Daytona for two terms and was a circuit court judge all at the same time as being involved in football. After learning from Bud Asher for several years, Coach Lundy decided after Asher’s death in July of 2013, he was going to do something to remember him.
“I would sit down with Bud and his wife every Tuesday night and we’d just talk about life, which obviously led him into football because that was a large part of who he was and I always told him that when he left this world, I was going to do something to remember him. At the time, I didn’t know what that something was but as years went on, I decided to do this for the first time and it was a great experience so I wanted to do it again,” said Lundy.
Coach Lundy and One On One Kicking not only did the event again – they outdid themselves by nearly doubling the event attendance. The attendance of nearly 130 players a year ago rose to nearly 260 this year due in part to the long distance travel of several parents and families.
Parents chose to bring their young athletes from all over, including Lewis Poore of Anderson, South Carolina. Poore and his fifteen year old son, Chance flew down and got a hotel for the event. “When we heard the NFL and college guys were going to be here, we wanted to come down,” Poore stated, “A lot of the guys at One On One encouraged us to come down because they said you get to meet a lot of people – we met Pat O’Donnell and Ryan Quigley yesterday and they spent some time with us, we were on cloud nine.”
The Bud Asher event – free to all participants provides young athletes with the training and mentorship of some of the best in the business, including NFL specialists along with some of the top college kickers and punters in the country, “It’s incredible that it’s free,” said Poore, “I would fly to California if it’s free because these guys from One On One are giving him the personal touch to perfect what he’s doing.”
Miami Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis and Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Cairo Santos have been training with Coach Dan Lundy and One On One for several years and now that they’re each in the NFL, they have no problem giving back.
“When I was these kids’ age in high school and aspiring to go play in college somewhere, Coach Lundy and One On One Kicking always had an older guy or a pro guy come to camps and clinics to teach us,” said Santos, who is the first Brazilian born player in NFL history, “I appreciated those guys when I was that age and I want to give back to those guys who helped me out to get me to where I am today. I love coming here, I don’t see it as a hassle or taking time from my offseason, it’s a pleasure to come back here and help a kids’ dream.”
“It’s so nice to be able to give back,” Dolphins kicker Caleb Strugis stated, “Being able to help high schoolers who may not be able to go to every event or a weekly event is nice, we can give them something to help get them to the next level and it’s nice to give back in that way.”
Coach Dan Lundy has been building One On One Kicking’s ‘Daytona Elite’ division over the years and the community support truly showed over the weekend. Lundy was so honored that he was nearly brought to tears talking about the support.
“We sat down at lunch as a staff today and I was literally tearing up because I know that for these NFL players, this is their down time. This is their time to spend with family, go on vacation and do those things that you work so hard to do,” Lundy stated on the NFL guys flying themselves to the event. “I thank these guys from the bottom of my heart because they made a kids’ day today and this is something that they will never forget in their life.”
This year’s Bud Asher event included 37 NFL and college specialists to help teach every facet of being a specialist – kicking, punting, long snapping and even Atlanta Falcons defensive back Ricardo Allen was present to teach young athletes footwork and help out in a drill for skills players.
“I’m coming back to show my face and give back to this Mainland community,” stated Allen, a former Mainland Buc in high school who then went on to Purdue and is now making a name for himself in the NFL, “Coach Asher was one of the guys that actually gave me my chance of playing when he put me on special teams as a young buck. With this event being named after him, you have to show pride because he’s one of the most prideful people I’ve ever met.”
Kids from 1st through 12th grades were present in Daytona Beach with all different skill levels. Even elementary school athletes showed great promise and learned a lot from the coaches at One On One – Chris Ginther, a local father from Port Orange stated how much his nine-year old son Noah enjoys seeing the pros and working with them, “Noah really enjoys it and it’s really just a great experience. I was here last year and it has nearly doubled, Noah loves seeing and working with the professional and college guys.”
Overall, it was a great time for not only the young athletes that came out to train, but the collegiate and profession specialists. Coach Dan Lundy has done a great job promoting Bud Asher’s name through this great event and several families came together for an outstanding turnout. Lundy says this is an event that will continue for several years and with the great coaching and community support, he hopes to grow it even larger next year.